So this hasn't worked this season, there are atleast a few options as to why. This one is probably my easiest one to point to. We actually really missed Rui's production off the bench and have not been able to replicate that since he left. Deni had some really good moments, but his development is a year behind Rui's and so his consistency was not quite there. Here is the difference in Win-Loss with and without Rui
With Rui we were 17-13, a winning basketball club
Without Rui: 15-27, a very bad ball club.
Bench scoring is the primary reason we miss him. When he was the primary guy off the bench, we didn't miss a beat.
With Rui, bench scoring was 36.9 points per game
Without Rui, 30.8 points per game
Rui was valued, but Rui wanted to leave. Per Woj, Rui wanted to be moved in part because he wanted to be finishing games which wasn't happening. And understandable. Rui and Kuz, both can rebound, but neither are really lock down defenders. Looked like they were trying to get Jae Crowder but whiffed in the attempt. Jae could have/ would have/ should have closed games for us, because he brings that dog defense. We have 3 2nd round picks, and I believe Tommy will do something good with them, but it was too crowded during the trade deadline to get a good deal done.
Do the ripple effects from this trade, and the inability to get a solid player in return, save the coaching staff from the ax? Who knows? But one thing is for certain, we were a winning ball club with Rui, and he appears to be the missing piece to our puzzle of winning even today. We miss you Rui! And for 9 glorious games you were the starting forward for the LA Lakers. Now you are coming off the bench again, but your name still rings out there. You were our true 6th man, and we clearly miss your production. That being said, I still think we should have made the playoffs even without Rui! But that's neither here nor there.
What was the possible solution?: Move Monte Morris to the bench and have him close out games. We still need someone to grab rebounds for us, a good backup center could have done that, and there were options on the free agent market. But for point production, Monte is the answer, not Nunn. But would he accept a position off the bench? Highly unlikely; remember, this was his promotion to a permanent starting role after leaving Denver. He doesn't want to come off the bench, and I wouldn't blame him. But, if we want to win, that might have been the path. We tried it for one game, and . . . let's just say if this was LA, there would be Morris memes already. Feel for the guy, but no one else could have done it. And no one else did. (Except Deni in spurts, loved the Turbo game and the others that followed. Need more consistency though, but that should come next year).